For six years, Charlie Whitehurst has waited for his opportunity to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. 2011 might finally be his year. After being buried behind Philip Rivers in San Diego, Whitehurst was traded to Seattle last season and took snaps in meaningful games for the first time in his career. While the results were very much mixed, he was the starting quarterback for their final game of the season that led the Seahawks back to the playoffs and to a division title. It would be wise for the Seahawks to bring back Matt Hasselbeck, but circumstances might make it tough to do so. Hasselbeck is a free agent and there are not too many QB’s on the open market that boast the kind of resume that he does. The departure of one of the best QB’s in the history of the franchise could open the door for Whitehurst to get the opportunity he has waited his entire career for.
Charlie Whitehurst joined KJR in Seattle with Ian Furness to talk about the lockout ending, whether or not he expect Matt Hasselbeck to be back in Seattle, how much he learned from playing last year, and whether or not he is approaching this as his potential last shot to be a starting quarterback.
On the lockout ending:
“It’s definitely exciting. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think we would get this thing worked out. I was really confident that it would be worked out. It’s been a really hectic last six or seven days it seems like. Figured it would happen in the next few days, but ecstatic we get to go back to work. Be flying up there this evening and hopefully get going tomorrow morning.”
Whether or not he thinks Hasselbeck will be back:
“It’s so hard to tell and hard for me to really speculate on that. It’s probably been a few weeks since I’ve spoken to him. I know Matt means a lot to this city, but we’ll see what happens. I have no idea and you kinda have to look at it individually. I know that I’m on the roster and there’s gonna be some competition for sure. I’d love to be considered for the starting spot and we’ll have to see. If Matt’s the guy then obviously he’s been here for a long time. I’m ready for anything. I know the city would love to have Matt and I’m sure Matt would love to be back. I’m not sure how it’s gonna shake out.”
How tough it was for him to organize workouts with Hasselbeck’s presence:
“I think it’s hard to organize something not in Seattle. He was there and I think he took part a little bit. I think Justin Forsett had a big role in getting that minicamp organized also. I don’t know. I spoke to some guys, I think they’re ready to go, and I think I can lead the team. That’s what I plan to do, especially if Matt is not around. We’ll see. Everyone has tremendous respect for Matt. I’m one of those guys for sure. That didn’t change this summer for sure.”
What he learned this past year playing:
“I think a great deal. I was in the league for four years prior to that and at some point you kinda plateau because you don’t get a chance to play and rightfully so there’s a pretty good guy over there in San Diego playing. Last year I was able to actually get my feet wet. I had some bad games and I think had some pretty good games. My understanding for what it takes to be a successful NFL quarterback I think grew. Experience, game experience is invaluable and I did gain some of that. I didn’t have the opportunity to get that prior to last season. Gives you kinda a new hunger because this stuff counts now. It was for real and it was a lot of fun, especially that last one I played. I’m definitely hungry and ready to build on last season.”
Whether or not he is approaching this offseason as the starter of the Seahawks:
“Probably so. That’s the way I’m approaching it. This year would obviously be the best chance I’ve had. That’s the way I’m gonna look at it. I’m gonna compete like hell, as hard as I can to earn that spot and see how far we can go.”
Whether or not he thinks this is his best chance to be a starting QB in the NFL:
“That’s the way I’m looking at it. You don’t know how many opportunities you’re gonna get. I got an opportunity last year, hopefully get another opportunity this year, don’t know if I’m gonna get another one. I think the only way to look at it is ‘hey this is the last one I’m gonna get.’ That’s my approach and we’ll see how far that takes me.”